MEGA MAN : THE WILY WARS / Capcom / Genesis

Wily Wars is a Mega Man compilation that was released on cartridge in Japan and Europe, but only was made available in America through the short-lived Sega Channel (a download service for the Genesis somewhat similar to today's Virtual Console).

It contains Mega Man 1, 2 and 3, all with slightly improved graphics and music that has been "redone" (I think it's highly debatable to say it's "better" than the original games). As an added perk, you can save your game at any time a la Super Mario All-Stars, and when you complete all three games, a bonus level called Wily Tower with three brand new robot masters opens up (and you can bring in weapons from all three games).

Mega Man fans are likely already saying, "Where can I sign up!" for this one. It's not totally sunshine and roses, however.

As mentioned before, the music is an issue, as this is the good old funky Genesis sound chip we are talking about here. I personally felt a few of the tunes were improved by it, but I actually preferred the old chiptunes of the NES version in most cases.

The difficulty is also stuck on Hard mode in the games that had selectable difficulty (Mega Man 2 and 3), making for some really frustrating levels.

The new robot master levels are also surprisingly short, and you don't get to jack the weapons once you beat them. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the actual Wily Tower has five stages that are challenging and pretty well designed. Had some interesting bosses as well. It was cool to be able to bring in items from all 3 games, but this means that some items become virtually useless (why use Item-2, for example, when you can use Rush Jet instead).

Also, if you are playing the European version, playing in 50HZ makes everything feel like it's in slow motion. Emulation can get around that, if you let the game load normally past it's BIOS check at the start and then change the CPU mode to USA. However, if you're playing an actual cartridge, you're gonna be SOL pretty much unless you've got your console hacked/modded in some way.

Still and all this is an interesting compilation though, and hopefully we'll see it pop up on the Virtual Console at some point (and in 60HZ mode for proper playability).

Videos :

* Buster Rod
* Wily's Tower levels 1 and 2